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    What Is a Customer Service Revolution?

    John DiJulius is considered the authority on world-class customer service and is the author of three books on customer experience. John will serve as a keynote speaker at the 2014 VRMA Annual Conference in San Diego, California Oct. 26-29. Learn more.

    From 2008-2010, the United States experienced some of the worst economic times in our lives. The housing bubble burst and the stock market plummeted. We saw the demise of financial institutions. Foreclosures, job loss and bankruptcy were rampant.
    What became known as the Great Recession ultimately affected the entire world economy. While much of it was devastating, some good came out of these troubling economic times. Believe it or not, there were many companies that survived significantly better than their competition and businesses in general, and as a result they emerged better and stronger than before.
    Because in any economy-especially a down economy--customer loyalty is your strongest asset! It took the recession to shine a spotlight on these thriving companies and what they had in common: a fanatical obsession on the customer experience.
    Customer service became hip, and more and more smart leaders and management teams started focusing on improving the experiences their companies delivered. As a result, over the past several years, customer service satisfaction overall has improved. A revolution has started, a customer service revolution, and it has gained incredible momentum. It is not only changing the way businesses operate, but it is also having a profound ripple effect in numerous other areas.
    What is a customer service revolution?
    The DiJulius Group is a customer service consulting firm headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. TDG's purpose is: To change the world by creating a customer service revolution.

    We are so proud that hundreds of organizations all over the world have adopted this as a major part of their business strategy, as they distance themselves from the competition.
    However, for it to be truly successful--so it is not just another mantra, annual theme, platitude, or flavor of the month--it is critical you understand what creating a customer service revolution really means:
    A radical overthrow of conventional business mentality
    designed to transform what employees and customers experience.
    This shift produces a culture that permeates into people's personal lives,
    at home, and in the community,
    which in turn provides the business with higher sales, morale,
    and brand loyalty--making price irrelevant.
    Let's break that definition down to its core:
    A radical overthrow of conventional business mentality...This is an approach or mind-set to business unlike what anyone has ever thought about previously. It's radical and unconventional. This unique concept consumes businesses leaders and entrepreneurs, energizes them, and ultimately inspires them to create breakthrough companies, products, services, and ultimately, experiences.
    ...designed to transform what customers experience...Revolutionary companies create experience epiphanies that fill a gap customers didn't know existed. World-class customer service companies create enduring relationships and personal connections.
    ...and employees experience.Experience it forward. What employees experience, customers will. The best marketing is happy, engaged employees. Your customers will never be any happier than your employees.
    This shift produces a culture that permeates into people's personal lives, at home, and in the community...Genuine hospitality is not something you do; it is something that is in you. It is something in all areas of your life--with your customers, employees, family and neighbors. Service to others is what we owe for the privilege of living on this earth. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do only when it is convenient.
    ...which in turns provides the business with higher sales, morale and brand loyalty...The only businesses surviving with long-term sustainability are the ones fanatical about differentiating themselves through the customer experience they deliver.
    ...making price irrelevant.Based on the experience your customers consistently receive, they have no idea what your competition charges.
    Making price irrelevant
    I love this phrase, especially because it sparks conversation and debate. Is it possible to actually make price irrelevant?
    What it does not mean is that you can double your prices or even raise them 20 percent tomorrow and not lose a customer.
    What it does mean is that, based on the experience your business consistently provides to your customers, a significantly fewer number of customers will be price-shopping you.
    Every one of us is price sensitive to some degree. Typically, with the majority of companies where we do business, we know how much they charge versus how much we can get the same thing from somewhere else. However, all of us have a few businesses we are loyal to because of something that they repeatedly do for us or give us, or because of how they make us feel, thus we have no idea what their competitors charge, nor do we care.
    Where do you compete: In the price wars, or experience wars?
    I prefer to compete in the experience wars--a lot less competition. Many times when a customer complains about the price, it isn't because they were not willing to pay for it; it is because the experience didn't warrant it. Price is something you offer when you have nothing else. In fact, 85 percent of U.S. consumers say they would pay 5 to 25 percent more to ensure a superior experience.
    Think about the companies that literally revolutionized their industries, companies like Zappos, Amazon, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Southwest Airlines, and Apple. Each line of that customer service revolution definition applies to their radical approach to trashing the traditional industry mold and rewriting history.
    Are you ready to revolutionize your industry? Join me at VRMA's Annual Conference as we overthrow conventional business mentality and learn how to create a culture that makes price irrelevant!
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